When creating a trust for a pet, there are a variety of important issues that Florida residents will want to keep in mind. These issues may not be readily available to the average pet owner, but an experienced trust planning attorney will know exactly what questions to ask you and how to design your trust to ensure your pets’ needs are being met long after you are gone.
As for the most important elements of a pet trust, it is important to remember that a pet trust will require both a caregiver and a trustee. It is preferable that these are two different people. The trustee will have the power to ensure that the caregiver is following the terms of care laid out by the trust. The trustee will also be in charge of dispensing the money in the trust to the caregiver. Without a separate trustee who is monitoring the use of funds by the caregiver, there is a risk that the caregiver will use the funds for him or herself.
A pet trust can earmark monies to be spent on items or services to provide an animal with a certain standard of care. For example, a trust planner might leave extra money to ensure that his or her parrot receives a special gourmet variety of bird food. Alternatively, the owner of a poodle might earmark money to be spent on a bimonthly dog grooming service.
Pet trust planning is especially useful for pet owners who are worried about bequeathing their pets to a family member or friend because they think their pets will represent a financial burden. Indeed, a pet trust will ensure that your furry friends are well taken care of by providing money to your pets’ caretaker, so that your pets will never go without the creature comforts you so dutifully provided them while you were alive.
Source: paradisepost.com, “Planning for your pets’ future” Joan Morris, Feb. 12, 2015